Abstract

Unusual fossil macrofloras from South America (Peru, Bolivia, Brazil), Africa (Niger), India, and Australia are distinctly different from both the Early and Late Carboniferous floras of Gondwana. These floras can be correlated with each other based on macrofloral and palynologic composition, and dated as Late Visean to earliest Serpukhovian through palynologic data from several floras and isotopic data from Australia. The floras are dominated by pteridosperm foliage and characterized by the occurrence of tree-lycopsids, and represent a warm-temperate, frost-free floral belt in Gondwana that reached from 30° to as far as 60° South that existed directly before the onset of the major episode of the Carboniferous glaciation. The plants lived during an interval of very warm climate as indicated by the width and extent of the floral belt, conditions that facilitated the migration of plants into this area from other parts of the globe. The term Paraca floral realm is redefined and extended to include all of these Late Visean-earliest Serpukhovian floras throughout Gondwana.

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